Hi, my name is Karl; I’m a 26 year-old writer originally from Ireland but currently living in Scotland. Now this probably seems like a very strange way to begin an article, but keep reading and it will make sense.

On New Years Eve the San Francisco based company Airbnb, which specialises in helping people find unique travel accommodation around the world, began an ambitious project to make the world that little bit smaller. The project, #OneLessStranger, aims to encourage its members to meet and engage with new people, to turn strangers into friends.

Airbnb set aside $1 million for this project, and invited 100,000 of its members to spend $10 in a personal and creative way so they can engage with their local community. How they spend the money is entirely up to them, just so long as they carry out a random act of kindness.

People across the world have already taken to the project and have begun turning strangers into friends. One woman used the money given to her by Airbnb to share homemade croissants with commuters at her local train station.  Another used the money to buy a comic book which they then gave to a stranger.  One man used the money to do something completely different – he bought a leather jacket and gave an elderly woman a ride along on his motorcycle. It was her first motorcycle ride in 50 years – check out her reaction in the video below:

You can see what others did via the One Less Stranger site.

Airbnb, which prides itself on being a company that promotes principles of hospitality and belonging have said:

“The New Year is always a good time to take a step back and evaluate where you are on your journey and what you aspire to do. For Airbnb, hospitality is personal and we are committed to spreading a sense of belonging far and wide. What better way to showcase that than by inviting our global community to extend a gesture of hospitality to a complete stranger? We asked our passionate and wildly creative community to see what they will do, and watch how they inspire others to pay-it-forward with #OneLessStranger.”

All Airbnb ask is that you share how you turned a stranger in to a friend via social media with the hashtag #OneLessStranger. So with that in mind, hi I’m Karl and it’s nice to meet you.

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About Author

Karl Henry - writer, reader, amateur filmmaker, and connoisseur of fine television. He may or may not finish sentences with the phrase "or am I" in the vain attempt to make himself seem more mysterious. Or does he?

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